Remembering Bingley Hall in Birmingham: Pictures of the historic exhibition centre on Broad Street

Bingley Hall in Birmingham was the UK’s first ever purpose built exhibition space and it stood proud at the bottom of Broad Street where the ICC is today - before it got burned down

The International Convention Centre in Birmingham is one of the city’s most renowned venues.

People travel from across the world to attend events at the esteemed venue at the bottom of Broad Street in Centenary Square which regularly hosts the Conservative Party Conference.

But did you know that before it was built another landmark stood in its place, known as Bingley Hall - and it was destroyed by a huge fire in the 1980s.

Bingley Hall was built in 1850 when King Edward VII was on the throne and is believed to have inspired the construction of Crystal Palace.

It was the UK’s first purpose-built exhibition hall and was attached to Bingley House where a renowned banker Charles Lloyd lived.

The first event at Bingley Hall was the Birmingham Triennial Music Festival which attracted the likes of Charles Darwin.

Later events included Birmingham Dog Show, cattle shows, circuses and more music concerts.

Renowned politicians including former Prime Minister William Gladstone held meetings there along with former Birmingham Mayor Joseph Chamberlain.

Bingley Hall was hosting the Midlands Caravan, Camping and Leisure Exhibition in 1984 when it caught fire. 

The blaze ripped through the main Queen's Hall of the exhibition centre, destroying large portions of the show which had only opened a day earlier.

As the exhibition hall closed after a group of psychics, who were attending an annual Psychics and Mystics Fayre, gathered to ‘cleanse’ the site to ensure its future as a convention centre.

After the hall was demolished ICC Birmingham was built, opening in 1991.

Here’s a look back at Bingley Hall on Broad Street: 

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